Singapore: Chiragh Kumar continued his fine run over the last five weeks, carding a bogey-free three-under 68 on a rain-delayed day to be the best placed Indian at tied 30th after the second round of the USD 6 million Barclays Singapore Open on Friday.
Chiragh dropped three birdies at the more difficult Serapong Golf Course here to take his two-day aggregate to four-under 138. The Delhi golfer had a one-under 70 on the first day at the Tanjong Course in Sentosa.
Rahil Gangjee and Jeev Milkha Singh, the two Indians in top-10 after first round fell back, but Jeev still has seven holes to play and SSP Chowrasia, at two-under, has eight more holes to play.
The cut looks likely at two or three-under with 65 and ties making the cut from the 204 who started.
Only Chiragh and Gangjee are certain of teeing over the final two rounds.
James Morrison held the clubhouse lead at 12-under par after following up his opening 62 with a second round of 68 to pull two strokes clear of Juvic Pagunsan of the Philippines, who shot a great 66 at Serapong to total 10-under.
At 11-under, but with seven more to play was Edoardo Molinari. Gonzalez Fernandez Castano was five-under through nine and 10-under for the tournament, while Anders Hansen (64)and Michael Hoey (66) had finished at nine-under.
A lot of leading players like Phil Mickelson were hanging in but in danger of missing the cut, but 2010 Open champion Louis Ooosthuizen (72-63) was tied 12th and 2010 US Open winner, Graeme McDowell (68-71) was three-under and tied 44th.
Play was interrupted for two and three-quarters of an hour on account of rain and threat of lightning and that meant 69 players will come back in the morning to finish their second round.
The 26-year-old Chiragh, who found a major breakthrough in his career with a second place in the Hero Indian Open, which secured his 2012 Asian Tour card has been on a roll.
"I played well today. I hit the ball in the right places, found the greens and had a couple of give-in putts for birdies. I also holed a long 30-footer for the third on the tenth. I did miss a couple of makeable 12-15 footers, but I will take a 68 on this tough course and more so after the rain-break," said Chiragh.
"It is a great experience to play in such a big event alongside some big stars on the Tour," added Chiragh, who is also leading the Money List on Indian Tour.
"I have a long way to go, but it sure feels good to come in with a good round on a really tough course and I am staying focused on my own game."
A week before the Indian Open, Chiragh was third on the Indian Tour and then after the second place at the Indian Open, he staged a remarkable comeback from eight shots off to win the lucrative BILT Open on PGTI.
Even as Chiragh made a good move up, the other Indians fell down fast on the leaderboard.
Gangjee, fifth after the first round, struggled through five bogeys and two birdies in his 74 and dropped to three-under at tied 44th.
Things were worse for the other Indians, as even Jeev was three-over through 12 holes for the day and at a total of two-over at this stage, was flirting with the danger of missing the cut.
Digvijay Singh was fighting back and was three-under through eight holes and at one-under for the tournament, he still had 10 holes to find his way back for the weekend.
It looked like an early weekend for Shiv Kapur (72-69) at one-under in tied 89th, and it was certain exit at even par for Gaganjeet Bhullar (73-69), who after a brilliant four-under front nine was two-over for the back stretch.
Also going back early was Anirban Lahiri (69-73) at even par in tied 109th.
Mukesh Kumar and Rashid Khan, both two-over with six and eight holes to play, will find it tough to stay on but it was curtains for Sujjan Singh (78-71), Gaurav Ghei (78-73), Ashok Kumar (74-78), Manav Jaini (80-74) and Jyoti Randhawa, who was two-over for the tournament with two more holes to play.
First Published: Friday, November 11, 2011, 20:27